A new website was opened with a list of some other important websites and I was not included. I am referring to Lashon Hora Crimes (LHC). Their grand opening statement exudes a tone of pained regret about the epidemic of lashon horah that has plagued Jews since the destruction of the Second Temple and continues to afflict us. Funny, I thought that the destruction of the Second Temple was attributed to needless hate, which the haredi world manges quite well. These days, lashon horah is code language for not speaking evil of ultra orthodox Jews, especially if they are inside your faction of the ultra orthodox world.
LHC put up a list of offending sites including: Failed Mesiah (sic), Nuchem Rosenberg (sic), Vos Iz Neias (VIN), Yeshiva world (sic), Matzav, and JDblog (sic). I dont want to quibble about their professionalism but four out of their six blog listings had an error. When they wrote JDblog I think they meant JBlog Central, a guide to other Jewish blogs. Naturally, since it leads people to yet other blogs it is considered an avi avot tumah (primary source of impurity).
Am I guilty of lashon horah when I point out the defects in their listings? Perhaps, to be dan l’kaf zchus (to give them the benefit of the doubt) this is a clever ploy. Obviously, since they advise you to avoid sites they don’t need to provide the URL. However, there are devious frum folk who would Google the title to find the URL and then they would fall into the abyss.
The strategy of Lashon Hora Crimes is doomed. Many frum Jews want to break out of the censorship ghetto of haredi media. They want to go to the very sites that Lashon Hora Crimes warns them against. In fact some of them will check in regularly to find what is on the list, figure out the URL ,and then click away.
Some of us create these sites with a constructive purpose in mind. The frum world is afflicted by corruption, abuse of power, ignorance of critical facts, and cover-ups of abuse. The Chofetz Chaim is clear that there is no prohibition of lashon horah when others need the information to protect themselves from harm(toeles). The haredi world has torn the Sefer Chofetz Chaim apart at the binding and tossed the parts about a toeles into the shaimos box.
At some level the creators of this blog know about the permission, even the requirement, to share derogatory facts when there is a toeles. How else could they publicly accuse the blogs on their list of violating the laws of lashon horah since that in itself is derogatory information. Sadly, the noble goals enshrined in the Jewish approach to lashon horah have been perverted into a mechanism for allowing some people to sling slander while blocking the voices of others. Many molesters continue on in their careers long after their acts are known by adults in the community. The cover up artists stop complainants by invoking the line, “talking about Rabbi Ploini would be lashon horah.”
I am heartbroken. I wanted to be recognized by Lashon Hora Crimes. I figured a listing would have gotten me a few new readers. It is not fair. Matzav, YeshivaWorldNews and Vos Iz Neias (VIN) have plenty of readers. I have only been around for a little over a year and only get 500 -100 visitors a day. Couldn’t they have bumped me up on the list.
I thought I earned my place by saying some pretty nasty things about dangerous people. I will not despair. At the end of their list of treyfah blogs they promised that there are “many more coming.” I can only hope I am one of them.
ACTION CALL- Readers, go to Lashon Hora Crimes and nominate Frum Follies and other favorite Jewish websites for inclusion on their list. While you are there, challenge them to justify ignoring the need to report ugly facts about others when there is a toeles. Ask them why they are like Reform Jews who are selective about which parts of halachah they want to keep. I don’t know if they will censor comments. So please keep a copy of your comments and paste them back here into a comment field.